Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 30, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
y "V- f k Time passes, men come and go irliile Alberta's tradifum lingers CanFarm boon to aqri By ttlC SWIIIATIT Herald Slaff Writer The Canadian Farm Man- agement Data System (Can- Farm) is designed to further the development of profitable farming in Canada by design- ing, constructing and operating a computerized farm manage- ment information system. Tin's was (he key address by Dr. J. B. Britney, director o( research and [ield services to a national information day in Guelph, Ont. He said the system is based primarily on data collected from on-farm and orf-fnrm sources and is capable or ser- vicing all Canadian farmers on an individual and voluntary ba- sis. lie said Ilic modern farmer, because of expansion and con- current advancement in tech- nology, changing market con- ditions and the restructuring o f institutional arrangements, needs assistance in four key areas: accounting for improve- ments in the system to en- able I lie farmer to accurately measure the physical and fi- nancial status of his existing operation as well as to meet institutional requirements. problem detecting for im- provements in a farmers' abil- ity to analyse the measures of his present operation to permit him 'to pinpoint problem areas quickly. isolating alternatives for increased availability of rele- vant information on prices and technical production. This will enable the farmer to set down alternative courses of. action for solving many problems. decision making for in- creased availability of modern business management techni- ques that will allow the farm- er to quickly decide which is the most appropriate course of action to follow. Dr. Britney said the heart ot the Canr'arm operation is the farm records program. Tho farmer regularly records spe- cified information about his farm operation and CanFarm processes the data to produce reports which assist the farm- er in accounting and problem detecting. From the computer centre in Guelph, the farmer will re- ceive: revenue, expense and net income records for the account- ing period. assets, liabilities and own- er's equity in the farm busi- ness at selected points in limc- tile per unit costs of pro- ducing each of the products. costs of operating and maintaining machinery and buildings. salaries, deductions and monies submitted for Canada Pension Plan, Workmen's Com- pensation and Unemployment Insurance. Also included in the Can- Fnrm system is a program of farm business analysis. This is to enable a farmer to evaluate the performance of his busi- ness as against individual farmer projections or against re.scarcb results. Once firmly established, Can- Farm will initiate a data base with all the individual farm data collected by the farm rec- ord system stored on computer tape. Farm planning also comes under the framework of Con- Farm. This program will assist individual farmers to predict the results of some of the al- ternative courses of action open to them. CanFarm doesn't have a field staff that deals directly with farmers, said Dr. Britney. All farmer clientele are ser- viced by a "user pres- ently the provincial depart- ments of agriculture, a.sricid (lira! universities Farm Credit Corporation. These agencies arc respon- sible for contacting fannLTs in- terested in CanFarm services and instructing them in the rcc ording necessary f o r physical and linancial Irr.nsaclions. The user agency is also re- sponsible for reviewing (lain submitted by Ihr- farmers for completeness and accuracy and to assist farmers in interpret- ing and using the reports scut by CanFarm headquarters. Dr. nritney said lhat with the farm records program being the only one considered to bo operational, CanFarm charges for just this service. Each farmer pnys s.15 to bo on (he farm record system and the user agency may or may not add an additional fee in order to recover some of their cost. Dr. firilnpy said confidential- ity of data is of utmost impor- tance wilbin the program. All individual farmer intoi illation within the data batx- is re- leased only lo the user agency. CanFarm records arc being accepted by chartered bank's and there is a chaitercd accountant working on the staff to eo-ordincle records from CAs who have been working with larger farm operations. The department of national revenue will accept the ('-ln. Farm records as a statement- This saves llu> er mvmking, by band, a state- ment for lax filing. Approval of the system has been received from the Iwo ma- jor farm organization i" Cau- adu.